At Swiss Waldkindergartens, or forest kindergartens, children spend all of their school days playing outdoors, no matter the weather. Instead of math or literacy requirements, they focus on the social interaction and emotional well-being found in free play.
Fed up with the restrictions at his conventional school, 10-year-old Scott Gray convinced his parents to transfer him to one where children control their own education. His father, Peter Gray, who's a developmental psychologist, watched his son thrive and began seeking to understand how children learned in such a setting, and what lessons could be drawn from it.
Aside from keeping obesity at bay and providing a way to blow off steam, daily physical exercise has benefits that go beyond getting out the wiggles. But despite this, and many other benefits, finding time for recess has been a big hurdle for many schools.
Flickr:Woodleywonderworks By Eleanor Yang Su It’s one of the biggest debates going on among early childhood development experts: Is it more important for kindergartners to focus on academics and learn their ABC’s and numbers? Or spend more time on social and emotional issues, like how to play nice and pay attention? Recent research by a UC … Continue reading Balancing Math Skills and Play in Kindergarten →
Flickr: Ernst Vikne By Aran Levasseur The goal of the videogame “Civilization” is to build a civilization that stands the test of time. You start the game in 4000 B.C. as a settler and, with successful gameplay, can create a civilization that lasts until the Space Age. Throughout the game, you need to manage your … Continue reading The Power of Play in Learning →
TB Last spring, there was a minor outcry when the Auburn School District in Maine announced that it would be piloting a one-to-one iPad program with its kindergarteners. Part of the uproar involved the cost of the program — some $200,000. But much of it involved the notion that somehow young children should not be … Continue reading Has Technology Changed the Way Children Play? →
Flickr:Gitsul Back when Jill Vialet was a kid, she used to play with her neighborhood friends for hours at a time, unsupervised. It seemed unstructured, because no adults had established any parameters. But in fact, all their games had rules. “We knew how to pick teams, resolve conflicts, there were spoken and unspoken rules,” she … Continue reading Teaching Kids the Rules of the Game →